Local Landmark: The Coffee Bus in Asheville
photograph by Tim Robison

The big red bus must have been built with a little bit of magic. How else could it have traveled from London to Atlanta in the early 1970s, and then to western North Carolina in 1999, to start a new life as a coffee shop? All current owner Jeff Lazzaro knows is that by the time he and his wife, Karen, moved to Asheville in 2007, the bus was looking somewhat the worse for wear. Yet the Lazzaros were smitten. They bought the bus in 2009, fixed up its patio, and filled its menu with drinks and desserts made with care. Their business, Double D’s Coffee & Desserts, struggled at first, but people couldn’t stay away for long. “Everybody that comes into the bus is happy,” Jeff says. And the bus must be happy, too — Jeff gives it a fresh coat of paint every year and decorates it for every holiday. So maybe it doesn’t run on magic. Maybe all it really needs is love.

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Saintsing is an associate editor at Our State magazine and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.